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FLSA violations cost Houston grocer $2 million

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in Compensation and Benefits,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

A Houston-based grocery chain has paid $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging wage-and-hour violations that involved phony payroll records and attempts to coerce employees into returning pay they had already received.

U.S. Department of Labor investigators also found that Hong Kong Group Inc. and owners Hai Du Duong and Ha Duong paid less than the minimum wage and failed to pay overtime for hours worked over 40 per week. Some employees worked as many as 70 hours per week.

The settlement agreement grants $2 million to approximately 400 workers employed at four Hong Kong Market stores in Houston from 2003 to 2006. The company also paid $200,000 in civil penalties.

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